A Copy of this book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an Honest Review
Alright, lets begin with the book blurb: “In a world full of magic and mystery, eighteen-year-old Maia is the exiled princess of Comoros and rightful heir to the throne. Forced to live as a servant in her enemy’s home, Maia flees her captors and begins a perilous quest to save her people. To survive, she must use magic she has learned in secret—despite the fact that women are forbidden to control it. Hunted by enemies at every turn, Maia realizes that danger lurks within her, too. Her powers threaten to steal not only her consciousness but also her sense of right and wrong. Can she set herself free and save the realm she loves—even if her people have forgotten her? In bestselling author Jeff Wheeler’s fantasy epic, the answer may be only the beginning to Maia’s journey throughout the mystical land of Muirwood.”
I am going to stop right here, and just put this up because this sums up my feelings on the book real fast and easy. Its a short 18 second clip from The Mummy starring Brenden Fraiser.
My mother taught me, as I am sure many of your mothers taught you, that if you do not have anything nice to say about something, don’t say anything at all.
Unfortunately, as a reviewer, sometimes I must break that code. And today, is one of those days.
I am doing my best here to avoid spoilers as well.
The Banished of Muirwood had promise. Such promise. An interesting premise about a world with two competing religions, and a princess fleeing while trying to save her homeland. Mythology and magic that is fairly unique. Very interesting side characters and history.
But its all ruined. RUINED. By the main character Maia. She is, for lack of a better term, useless. Oh she tries. On a few occasions she tries to do something interesting, but in almost every case she fails spectacularly. Generally this would be interesting if not for the fact that every other time she is timid, passive, and basically exists to be hunted and to be fought over. She is literally the Damsel in Distress of the novel. And she is our main character, the person we should be cheering for. And we have to follow her for the whole book! Its told through her eyes.
The book can be summed up with the following pattern: Maia runs. Maia meets someone or plot happens. Maia gets captured. Maia escapes OR is rescued. Maia runs. Repeat ad nauseum. Even the end is her literally running to safety. Oh and there is a huge dump of exposition at the end as well.
There is a single moment where Maia manages to DO something other then run, but it basically amounts to nothing except for plot development, and she still ends up having to be rescued afterwards.
My emotions while I read this can be summed up as follows: Boredom, more boredom, anger, rage, you gotta be freaking kidding me! That last part was at the ending, where in the last 40 pages or so we get about 4 to 5 twists, including a twists that contradicts a twist right before it making the prior twist rather STUPID.
If it was not for the fact that I promised that any book I pick up to review I would finish, I would have dropped this within the first 50 or so pages. This book got me so angry that I started ranting in the breakroom at work about how Maia was basically there to be the Damsel in Distress. Its that bloody bad.
And the ending? It setups the sequel. Its not satisfying. Its not worth sitting through the rest of the book at ALL.
When I read, all I ask for are solid characters I can get behind, and a good story. This has neither. The writing, the world building, the mythology are all fantastic. But what occurs using those items is horrid and boring and POINTLESS. The funniest thing is that the blurb actually spoils more then I ever could. Its literally the book. Right there.
I am giving this book a 1/5. Stay away. Stay far away.